BREAKING: DNC Revises Debate Requirements, Making Bloomberg Appearance Possible

A new drastic revision to the debate requirements by the DNC has opened the door for Michael Bloomberg to participate.

Per IBT, although a late entry into the contest for the Democratic presidential nominee, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has surged to third place nationally, according to a new poll.

Reuters survey conducted Jan. 29-30 among independents and registered Democrats found that support for Bloomberg has risen to 12 percent, a five point spike since December. The pollsters said that Bloomberg has been garnering increasing support from an array of voting groups, including rural Americans and high-income individuals.

Politico reports the Democratic National Committee is drastically revising its criteria to participate in primary debates after New Hampshire, doubling the polling threshold and eliminating the individual donor requirement, which could pave the way for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to make the stage beginning in mid-February.

Candidates will need to earn at least 10 percent in four polls released from Jan. 15 to Feb. 18, or 12 percent in two polls conducted in Nevada or South Carolina, in order to participate in the Feb. 19 debate in Las Vegas. Any candidate who earns at least one delegate to the national convention in either the Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire primary will also qualify for the Nevada debate.

The new criteria eliminate the individual-donor threshold, which was used for the first eight debates, including next week’s debate in New Hampshire. Bloomberg, the self-funding billionaire, has refused to take donations from other individuals, which has thus far precluded his participation in any of the debates since he joined the race late last year.

“Now that the grassroots support is actually captured in real voting, the criteria will no longer require a donor threshold,” said Adrienne Watson, a DNC spokeswoman. “The donor threshold was appropriate for the opening stages of the race, when candidates were building their organizations, and there were no metrics available outside of polling to distinguish those making progress from those who weren’t.”

As of Friday, the three candidates who have met the Nevada polling thresholds are Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, according to POLITICO’s tracking of public polling. The other candidates, including Bloomberg, have not yet cleared the polling threshold

Per TCO, in December the DNC rejected the letter from Cory Booker’s campaign suggesting they change the debate qualification rules to allow more inclusivity.

Booker had gained support from eight other Democrat presidential candidates who have been increasingly concerned about the optics of minority candidates Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, and Cory Booker no longer appearing on the debate stage.

Andrew Yang barely qualified for the next DNC debate and will be the only minority candidate on the stage along with 6 white candidates if the debate does take place and overcomes the candidate boycott threat due to a labor dispute. All 7 candidates who have qualified have said they will not cross a picket line to attend the next debate if the labor dispute has not been resolved.

Per ABC, in a sternly worded statement responding to Booker’s letter, the DNC resisted his request while also defending the debate qualifying criteria.

“The DNC has led a fair and transparent process and even told campaigns almost a year ago that the qualification criteria would go up later in the year — not one campaign objected,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said. “The DNC will not change the threshold for any one candidate and will not revert back to two consecutive nights with more than a dozen candidates. Our qualification criteria is extremely low and reflects where we are in the race.”

The letter had made the following argument for including more candidates:

“Adopting the aforementioned criteria will produce a debate stage that better reflects our party and our country; will recognize a broader definition of what constitutes a viable candidacy, particularly in the early primary and caucus states where strong organization can outweigh media persuasion efforts; and will reflect the practical reality that the polling threshold has proven to be an unreliable metric, with only four national debate qualifying polls released since the last debate…With the holiday season upon us, and a brief qualification window for the January debate, it’s vital to make modifications to qualification criteria now.”

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